God is perfect. Jesus, his son, is perfect. No human being can come close to being perfect without the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus speaks about perfection this way:
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
If we Christians cannot attain perfection without divine intervention, how is it that Jesus encourages us to be perfect? How can we become like God when our sins keep us separated from the one being who embodies love?
Of course, there is a fallacy to this argument. The mistake lies in the belief that our sins separate us from God. In reality, Jesus paid for all our sins with his shed blood, and we can now approach God’s throne clean and unblemished (2 Peter 1:9). Every time we ask God for forgiveness, we become new again. Every time God forgives us, we no longer need to harbor the guilt of our sins. We become unbroken and live again. That is God’s gift to us for believing Jesus is his son. His grace sets us free from the penalty of sin, which is death (Romans 5:15).
The joy of the gospel is not that we are free to do whatever we want, because that would be selfish on the part of every Christian, but that Jesus conquered death by rising from the grave to sit at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:32-33). The good news is the elect have hope in Jesus with the promise of eternal life. That promise goes beyond this tiny speck of a life we are now living, and transcends into eternity (Psalms 8:3-5).
Therefore if some come to you and say, “Jesus is over here!” and then you see the object of their affection is this world and everything in it, do not believe them. Material wealth perishes, as does the recognition of others (Romans 8:6). And if some say to you, “Jesus is over there!” and you find they are looking to themselves for approval, do not believe them. None can buy their way into the kingdom, for the kingdom of heaven is God’s gift to those who believe (Romans 6:23).
Instead, pray every day for the kingdom to come and for God’s will to be done. Bless those who curse you. Give to those who beg, and strive to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.